Government is making efforts to bring down the fertility rate to 1.5 from the present 1.79, District Medical and Health Officer R. Syamala informed on Wednesday on the eve of World Population Day being observed on Thursday.

Increasing the age of marriage, preventing child marriages, promoting spacing methods to allow sufficient gap between two deliveries, preventing teenage pregnancy and improving literacy are the methods being adopted to bring down the fertility rate in the State.

A fortnight long campaign would be launched to explain to the people that a woman would be mentally and physically ready to conceive at the age of 21 and would have a good understanding of brining up a child. Then the need to wait for the next child for a few years would be explained. It was better to have two children before the woman turns 30. This campaign would continue after the fortnight ended.

The campaign would include creating awareness among people in rural area and Agency in particular about adopting temporary methods to avoid pregnancy. Improving literacy among women would go a long way in improving their condition and the best example was Kerala, Dr. Syamala said.

Regarding declining child sex ratio as the number of girl child continues to be less than that of boys, there was a bright spot as even women in BPL families started accepting that even a single girl child would do, she said.

Quoting official figures of population, the DMHO said the world population was 250 crores in 1950 and the UN started observing World Population Day from 1987 when the population reached 500 crores. In 2011 the population was 704 crores.

India’s population is 127 crore and AP’s 8.46 crore. Population of Visakhapatnam district is 42.44 lakhs with city accounting for 18 lakhs.

Child sex ratio of AP is 943 girls for 1000 boys in the 0-6 years age group, is better than the national ratio of 914 for 1000 (during 2011).The District Administration is organising a rally and meeting and is holding mega medical camps at three places in the city as part of observing World Population Day. The rally would be held from GVMC to AU Engineering College Dr. Ambedkar auditorium. The medical camps would be held at Peda Jalaripeta, Kotha Jalaripeta and Prasad Gardens.

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